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Morning Briefing for pub, restaurant and food wervice operators

Tue 19th May 2020 - Wagamama to reopen up to half its estate for delivery and takeout
Wagamama to reopen up to half its estate for delivery and takeout: Wagamama, The Restaurant Group-owned brand, is to reopen up to 67 sites for delivery and takeout by the end of June. Following successful trials of delivery in London and Leeds, Wagamama will this week accelerate its plan of action. From Thursday (21 May), 24 sites will reopen offering delivery, with another 20 to follow on Thursday, 28 May. The plan is by the start of June there will be 49 delivery sites and by the end of the month up to 67 for delivery and takeout – about half its total estate. During the first week the sites will be open Thursday to Sunday and thereafter Wednesday to Sunday – with the exception of Kensington and Peckham, which are trialling a daily operation. The scheduled hours of opening will be 4pm to 9.30pm. Wagamama reopened its delivery kitchens at the end of last month as a first wave trial and the company managed to successfully implement a safe working environment. Closely following government and expert medical advice, Wagamama has devised the schedule of reopening sites that will allow staff to slowly return to delivery-only work at their own discretion. The phased reopening of additional sites will still form a test and learn approach for the business. The first Wagamama delivery kitchen sites to reopen were in Peckham, Hackney, Bow and Leeds. As part of the launch the team at Peckham produced 1,000 meals for front line NHS workers; an initiative Wagamama and its delivery partner Deliveroo will continue to support with selected sites delivering up to 500 NHS meals a week. Wagamama chief executive Emma Woods said: “Over the past couple of months our focus has been on creating a safe working environment for our team members and our two-week trial has enabled our teams to return to work safely. The next logical step for us is to open additional sites throughout the UK.” Wagamama has been working with Dr Kate Bunyan, who has helped the company formulate a safe working protocol. Since the lock-down, Wagamama has been running online home cookery lessons. The wok from home initiative sees executive chef Steve Mangleshot help people prepare some of Wagamama’s classic dishes, with the series already obtaining more than two million views in the past six weeks.

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